While many spent the last few weeks and days glued to their television sets anxiously watching the George Zimmerman trial unfold, I was for the most part spared the added tension and stress of watching and listening to the self-proclaimed pundits and all the associated noise with it. With my work schedule I have very little time during the week to do much of anything. I followed the case as most did via the internet and news stories and on occasion watching video clips of testimony. I want to say that I was hopeful for an outcome that would have put some measure of rest and justice into the lives of Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. However I like many sensed early on that this would probably not be the case.
This trial has unleashed so many questions that the black community themselves need to address. The most poignant one that sticks in my mind is which way do you want it to be? Do you want to work within the framework of laws and government that exist in this country and that were not written to protect people of color or with any of their concerns or issues in mind, OR do you truly wish to embrace the concept of self- determination fully and be autonomous. How long do you continue to argue with a group of people begging them to let you IN and let you be a part of what they created to for the betterment of themselves? How many Trayvon Martin’s does it take before the realization that a broken system, the judicial system in this country which was broken LONG before this case came to trial is just that, BROKEN.
How many unarmed black males have to die before the black community as a whole becomes more engaged in policing themselves and working on ensuring the safety of every single individual in the communities no matter WHERE they live – from the projects to the suburban hamlets. How many people of color have to be massacred by our own or those outside of the black community before we actively work on ways to stem the tide of violence ?
“Usually when people are sad they don’t do anything, they just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about change.” – Malcolm X
How many marches and protests need to take place before the understanding that in this current environment and society, they are mostly useless and not effective for doing anything other than allowing people to vent ? In terms of changing policy and creating means by which to engage elected officials and effect change it is not going to have the effect that the marches in the 50’s and 60’s had.
Freedom Ain’t Free
At some point in time the understanding that either you embrace the society and system that is in place that is set up only to work for those who are actively engaged in it and fit the mold of what that system designates as productive, law abiding citizens, or you choose to go the route of self determination completely and you implement your own system.
I for one am heartily tired of watching the system in this country embrace those who relinquish their own personal culture and value to embrace those of “majority” and beg for a seat at the table and for fairness from a group that has historically not shown any indication of any ability to do anything outside their own self-interest.
I heard the verdict come in and I understood totally how the Native American women must have felt watching their husbands and sons go off to negotiate with the white men who sought to take away their lands that they had lived on for generations. I understood the wailing that would start up when realizing that another party had been slaughtered because they dared refuse to leave their home lands at the request of the United States government. I understood completely the feeling of betrayal when shown documents signed by members of the tribes who had no authority to do so and did not even know what they were signing in the first place were shown to the people and they were told they had to leave and that things would be ok if they would just accept manifest destiny.
The Native Americans can tell you exactly how the “system” works if you can find one to talk to. Once again in this country one is reminded who is really FREE and why slavery can exist
“If you are not ready to die for it, take the word FREEDOM out of your vocabulary.” – Malcolm X
in many forms not just the form that existed when the founding fathers established this country for themselves.
Now the question is how long before the black community in this country will break off those shackles and start writing their own story instead of allowing others to determine our worth, and our futures.
“Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity” ― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time